We thought it was reason to celebrate when Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed HB 2281 into law, mercifully eliminating a Chicano Studies curriculum - La Raza Studies, as it was also called. Today however, one of the regular "brainstormers" at the Chronicle of Higher Education writes that a very good thing has been destroyed.
This video (h/t The Blaze) excerpts interviews of two UCSD professors, Micha Cardenas and Ricardo Dominguez, who advocate the dissolution of the United States. Professor Dominguez states that he won tenure at UCSD by designing a GPS system for aliens illegally entering the country. He offers that information as proof of the GPS system's worth. He includes poetry that he wrote in the GPS system so that those crossing the border may benefit from his mellifluous verse while they steer clear of the border patrol.
Cross-posted from Phi Beta Cons: In the aftermath of the Fort Hood massacre, and the mounting evidence that the shooter, Nidal Malik Hasan, was motivated by Islamist beliefs, the MSM is calling for explanations from Middle East studies professors. What they're getting from these "experts," as Cinnamon Stillwell describes in a disturbing, important, and well-researched survey, "is the moral relativism and obfuscation that too often meets any effort to address Islamism or jihadism in an intellectually honest manner." Example? Writing for the Washington Post, Georgetown University's John Esposito, conflates Hasan's deeds with "extremists" of all religions, all the while professing ignorance as to why Islam should have been the object of suspicion since 9/11. Stillwell concludes:
Americans rightly concerned about the culture of political correctness and willful blindness towards Islamist ideology that has infected the U.S. military, intelligence agencies, and so many other institutions need only look to the denizens of the Ivory Tower for an explanation. Instead of explaining events like the Fort Hood shooting to the American public, all too often Middle East studies academics refuse to state the obvious and choose to obfuscate rather than clarify the events at hand. The rush to judgment against those who express valid concerns about Islamism only adds to the self-censorship that was in large part responsible for allowing Hasan to remain in the military and murder his fellow soldiers in cold blood.
Abigail Alger at Reformer's Blog has a good article on "Why Fat Studies (and All Identity Studies) Hurt Higher Education":
But Fat Studies, like all identity studies, begins with the end in mind. The conclusions have already been determined: fat people are oppressed and down-trodden, victims of an insert-terrible-adjective-here system and insert-another-terrible-adjective-here society. In a closed system like this, there can be no debate or disagreement.
NAS's own Glenn Ricketts is quoted on the emergence of fat studies here.
Over at NAS.org I have an article, "The Dark Side of Diversity," about how the diversity movement punishes even its supporters. Melissa Hart, writing for the Chronicle of Higher Education, told how she got lost in the diversity craze when she went to college at UC-Santa Cruz. She wrote:
I saw that the Vietnamese students' stories of emigrating to the United States, and the African students' tales of colorful culture back home, caused our professor to sit up straight and stroke his goatee with pleasure, while my own stories of innocent girls enlightened by wise transients on the Mall in downtown Santa Cruz caused him to invoke lethal adjectives such as "sentimental" and "pathetic." Being white and straight, I felt doubly cursed with a dearth of fascinating material.
It seems that Hart would realize that her dreams of multicultural mingling weren’t coming true—and that it was the fault of multiculturalism itself. Yet she didn’t get it. Instead, she bought into the doctrine even further, believing that she was indeed ordinary and invisible.
Jim Leach, the new chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, wants to correct Americans' "disrespectful" attitude towards Muslim culture by giving the NEH a new theme: "Bridging Cultures." He is also annoyed at culture warriors and excitable people at town halls. NEH seems next on the list of government agencies to be politicized. Peter Wood wrote about this in an NAS.org article, "Politicizing the NEH." An excerpt:
NEH Chairman Jim Leach, speaking at the Carnegie Corporation of New York on September 29, described his plan for the humanities to help change “the temper and the integrity of the political dialogue” in the United States in a manner that sends, “an implicit message to Muslims in our country and in other parts of the world that we deeply value the contributions of their diverse and fascinating cultures.” The speech, titled “Bridging Cultures: NEH and the Muslim World,” is posted on the NEH website. Leach’s remarks are surprising on several counts. In tone, they depart from NEH tradition, which has generally celebrated American cultural achievement rather than castigate Americans for their failings. In substance, his speech amounts to an indictment without any evidence. American culture is not awash in “disrespect” for Muslim cultural contributions. A case could be made for the exact opposite: schools, colleges, museums, and other cultural institutions have been going way out of their multicultural way to point out the glories of Muslim civilization for the last decade.
Power Line Blogs picked up on the story in "Jim Leach's Bridge to Nowhere."
Brown University this fall added Chinua Achebe to the faculty of its Africana Studies Department. Achebe is a prominent postcolonial writer from Nigeria who has called Joseph Conrad a "bloody racist" and claimed his classic work, Heart of Darkness, celebrates the dehumanization of Africans. Achebe believes this reflects a widespread, deep-seated atttitude by Westerners toward Africa. This is all the more alarming because the university says Achebe is the first of many hires it plans to make, in order to expand Africana Studies, according to the Brown Daily Herald. As the Foundation for Intellectual Diversity points out, it's not like the University has been ignoring Africana Studies:
At the Foundation for Intellectual Diversity, we have to wonder what could possibly lead Brown administrators and faculty to think they have neglected Africana Studies. Brown has a Department of Africana Studies with 14 full-faculty members—not counting seven visiting and affiliated professors. In addition, Brown has the Third World Center, The Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America, the Africa Group Colloquium, and the university recently sponsored the Focus on Africa speaker series as well as the Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice. All are related to Africana studies.
For the full press release click here. The Providence Journal also ran a story in today's paper about this issue and the Ocean State Policy Research Institute has been blogging about it as well.